Food manufacturing: Good week, bad week

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supermarket Confectionery

How was your business week – tough, terrific or just indifferent? In this new occasional series, the Food Manufacture Group takes a sideways look at the week’s food and industry news.

Watch this short view interview for our personal take on what organisations or individuals enjoyed a good week and those for whom the past seven days have proved more than a little challenging.

We begin with turmoil in the retail sector, as Tesco confirmed the locations of 43 stores nationwide, it planned to close as part of ceo Dave Lewis’ plan to shave £250M off the beleaguered retailer’s costs. The supermarket also revealed plans to axe about 2,000 jobs​.

It wasn’t a good week for one of the other big four supermarkets either. Morrisons’ new chairman Andrew Higginson revealed it could take up to five years​ to fully restore the chain’s flagging fortunes.

Manufacturing credentials

Part of Morrisons’ recovery strategy should be stressing the retailer’s strong food and drink manufacturing credentials, he said. Also important would be putting more staff in stores, keener pices and more promotions.

Bad week

  • Tesco
  • Morrisons
  • Food exports
  • UKIP Jelly Babies

Neither was it a good week for food and drink exporters, as one currency specialist warned the new Greek government, elected on an anti-austerity package, could threaten Eurozone stability. And that could ultimately undermine UK exports.

Finally in our Bad week category appears sweet maker Choc-Kits. The confectionery firm came under fire for releasing a ‘fun’ can of UKIP jelly babies​. Some complained the sweets mocked a serious political party.

2,000 job boost

But it was a happier week for upmarket supermarket Waitrose, and manufacturers Cranswick and Greencore. Waitrose, another retailer with strong food manufacturing connections, revealed a 2,000 jobs boost​ with a the opening of 14 new stores throughout the UK and a new e-commerce hub in south London – all slated to open this year.

Good week

  • Waitrose
  • Cranswick
  • Greencore
  • Horsemeat justice

It was a good week too for Cranswick, which reported underlying sales up by 2% in the three months to the end of December. The manufacturer continued “to buck the trend in UK grocery”, ​said City analyst Investec.

Also Greencore reported that chilled products and food-to-go had driven its global growth in its first financial quarter.

Finally in the good news category we selected justice in the horsemeat scandal​, as the first person faced jail, after admitted criminal charges in the wake of the multi-billion scandal.

Meanwhile, what was your top good and bad news of the week? Either post comments on the end of this article, or email your Good week, bad week nominations to

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